Rot at the top, rot at the bottom

By Razib Khan | January 14, 2009 2:02 pm

Arnold Kling put up a chart which shows how the Masters of the Universe were empty suits. He says:

The pattern is big egos, big money, and big power offering big promises, getting big media play, and making big mistakes (Spitzer’s mistakes were relatively small, to be honest). To me, the fiscal stimulus represents yet another redistribution of power away from ordinary people and toward the elite, when already the imbalance is too high. I am more worried about rot at the top of society than at the bottom.

Kling notes that there is also rot at the bottom; the speculative credit binge mentality trickled down, you know what I’m talking about. American consumer spending has been based on foreign credit for years now. But we don’t have sober elites, rather, it’s public choice theory gone wild in application. Power corrupts. What to do? I’m an atheist, but I’m incline to say pray and hope for a miracle.
My main consolation is that just as humans are prone to irrational exuberance, we can get into dark funks insulated from the shades of gray. Hopefully my pessimism can be abolished by the reality that despite the evil of individuals, our institutional frameworks are fundamentally robust and so will eventually channel the animal passions appropriately.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture
  • Matt McIntosh

    “Hopefully my pessimism can be abolished by the reality that despite the evil of individuals, our institutional frameworks are fundamentally robust and so will eventually channel the animal passions appropriately.”
    Greg Clark might suggest it’s the other way around.

  • pconroy

    On a related note, see this article by the Wall Street Journal:
    ‘Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT

RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »